When people think about dangerous substances and overdoses they think of drugs like heroin and prescription medications. What people don’t realize is that alcohol-related deaths and accidents are much more common than you may think. The average person has binge drank at least once in their life. They may not get blackout drunk or go and pass out, but binge drinking comes with a lot of risks that can sometimes be fatal. Those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism binge drink regularly and are unable to control their impulses and cravings to drink. This means that they’re putting themselves at risk much more than the average person.
What is Binge Drinking?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is defined as a person drinking enough alcohol to bring their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) up to 0.08 g/DL. The BAC for men and women are slightly different.
Young People and Binge Drinking
The NIAAA also keeps record of statistics related to drug and alcohol abuse. They have found that many young people are binge drinking. In 2013, approximately 14.2% of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 admitted to binge drinking. The same statistics also found that the average amount of deaths related to binge drinking is over 4,000 people under the age of 21 each year. These deaths include automobile accidents, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, as well as from various injuries. Binge drinking not only puts the person who is drinking at risk, but others as well. Aside from victims of automobile accidents by drunk drivers, binge drinking amongst young people increases the likelihood of physical and sexual assault. Death, serious injuries, impaired judgement, increased risk of physical & sexual assault, and brain development problems are all risks associated with underage drinking.
A Young Woman Warns her Peers
In a recent story on the popular website BuzzFeed, a young woman was recognized for sharing her story with her peers warning them about the dangers of binge drinking and partying. Hanna Lottritz is a student at the University of Nevada, Reno who just turned 21 years old. This university, like many other colleges around the country, is a place where students love to drink and party. This was a common experience until one night of binge drinking almost cost Hanna her life. After competing with her friend to see who could drink the most whiskey, she continued to drink. It wasn’t long before the effects of alcohol kicked in and Hanna lost consciousness. Luckily, her friends realized she wasn’t breathing and immediately took her to the hospital. Hanna’s BAC was at 0.41 and the medical staff said she almost lost her life. Now, Hanna does her best to spread the message about the risks associated with binge drinking to hopefully help prevent others from repeating her mistakes.
Binge drinking can lead to many problems. While the risks don’t often present themselves clearly, they can sometimes be fatal for you or your loved ones. Addiction is one of those risks. Although not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, it’s important to recognize the signs of addiction to get the help you or your loved ones need. If you’ve found that you’re drinking heavily on a regular basis, or have a hard time limiting the amount of drinks you consume, you may be developing an addiction and dependence. Those who become addicted to alcohol lose the power of choice when it comes to drinking. If you or someone you love needs help, be sure to consult an addiction specialist to see which type of addiction treatment is best.